Way back in the mists of April 2012 I had the idea to ask cricket writers a set of standard questions about their time spent covering the game, upon which they would be invited to riff. Initially, I gathered half a dozen or so together, mainly through buttonholing the less forbidding writers in the press boxes I found myself in, and had fully intended to work my way up to the scarier, fire-breathing beasties. The idea was successfully pitched yet, for one reason or another, never hit the streets. Nor even the virtual streets. Anyway, having asked people to devote some of their time to this, it seems only right they don’t languish on my hardrive. So, here you go…
Vic Marks is a former Somerset and England all-rounder, a Test Match Special summariser and cricket correspondent of The Observer. [Interview: July 2012]
Who are your favourite cricket writers, past and present?Alan Gibson, Mike Selvey
How about broadcasters – which trio would you have in the commentary box for your perfect 30 mins?
Tony Cozier, Jonathon Agnew, David Lloyd.
What were your personal cricketing achievements and highlights?
How many Poms have a Sheffield Shield winners’ medal? That and runs for England.
Beyond a Boundary – what other passions do you have in life?
Fantasy cricket – where’s the venue, who’s playing, and who are you watching it with?
Australia versus England at the SCG with England winning. I’d be watching alongside almost any Aussie.
Favourite ground in England?
Favourite press box on the county circuit?
Which ground provides the best nourishment?
Edgbaston – vastly improved.
What’s the best day’s cricket you’ve reported on?
Australia versus South Africa in the 1999 World Cup at Edgbaston.
And which day’s play do you wish you’d been at?
Bodyline, Adelaide 1932/3.
Mirth in the press box – who’s the funniest colleague?
CMJ (usually unintentionally).
As a journalist, what’s the most tempestuous experience you’ve had – be that with colleagues, players, coaches, board members, spectators, or readers?
None, really. Certainly never come to blows.
Magic wand time – what changes would you make to English domestic cricket, if possible?
Switch to 50 overs and play much less of it.
What about international cricket – what would you change, given half a chance?
Much shorter World Cups – a good tournament wrecked by greed.
Which youngsters do you think will go on to be giants?
Who are your favourite current county batter and bowler?
James Hildreth, George Dockrell (I am biased).
Which coach do you most enjoy chatting to, given the opportunity?
And which player is/was a refreshingly platitude-free zone to talk to, on or off the record?
Whither broadsheet county reporting? Is Internet journalism sustainable?
What is the best piece you’ve written, or your favourite, if modesty prevents a proper answer?
No idea (it has to be the last one, doesn’t it?).